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Sizing Up Wide Receivers
David Dorey
June 27, 2005
# Team Top 12 - 2004 FF Pts Ht Wt Age Exp
1 CAR Muhsin Muhammad 238 6'2" 217 32 10
2 GB Javon Walker 210 6'3'' 210 27 3
3 NO Joe Horn 205 6'1'' 206 33 9
4 PHI Terrell Owens 204 6'3'' 226 32 9
5 IND Marvin Harrison 201 6'0'' 178 33 9
6 STL Torry Holt 197 6'0'' 190 29 6
7 IND Reggie Wayne 193 6'0'' 198 27 4
8 TEN Drew Bennett 191 6'5'' 203 27 4
9 CIN Chad Johnson 185 6'2'' 192 27 4
10 GB Donald Driver 176 6'0'' 185 30 6
11 IND Brandon Stokley 167 5'11'' 197 29 6
12 TB Michael Clayton 164 6'3" 197 23 2
13 STL Isaac Bruce 163 6'0'' 188 33 11
14 SEA Darrell Jackson 162 6'0'' 201 27 5
15 DEN Rod Smith 160 6'0'' 200 35 10
16 MIN Nate Burleson 159 6'0'' 197 24 2
17 KC Eddie Kennison 158 5'11'' 192 32 9
18 TEN Derrick Mason 158 5'10" 188 31 9
19 MIN Randy Moss 154 6'4" 205 28 8
20 JAX Jimmy Smith 153 6'1'' 205 36 11
21 OAK Jerry Porter 153 6'2'' 220 27 5
22 HOU Andre Johnson 152 6'2'' 221 24 2
23 DEN Ashley Lelie 151 6'3'' 200 25 3
24 BUF Lee Evans 148 5'11" 196 24 2
Average for Top 24
6'2'' 201 29 6

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends

One of the fascinating aspects of wideouts is that scouts constantly hunt for towering players every season and yet the best receivers in the game are much shorter than what the NFL draft suggests should be seen. The two most important characteristics for receivers is the ability to beat the jam and their personal speed. Without those two keys, the rest doesn't really matter. But those two aspects alone also do not tell the entire story as well, since height will give an advantage over shorter cornerbacks and experience in the offense is also critical. Remember this about cornerbacks - most were either running backs or receivers earlier in their life and were not tall or fast enough to win a starting job as a wideout in college.

Height - While seemingly the 6'4" wideout should rule from their natural advantage against a secondary, only Randy Moss and Drew Bennett were that tall from the group of the best 24 wideouts in 2004. The table to the right is stocked full of players that were only six feet tall - eight of the top sixteen. Strangely dipping down only one inch really thins the crowd. Of the top 24 players last season, only Stokley, Kennison, Mason and Evans failed to meet the six foot mark. The prototypical size of the best wideouts from last year was about Joe Horn size at 6'1".

Weight - Since speed is essential, weight can be a liability. It also can place more stress on knee and ankle joints, and hamstrings as well. The lightest player was easily Marvin Harrison at 178 pounds but he's always been a burner and has every other quality desired in a wideout (including a quarterback named Peyton Manning). Most wideouts tend to be around 200 pounds. Prototypical would be Horn, Jimmy Smith and Darrell Jackson.

Age/Experience - While experience obviously helps a wideout to know what to do on pass routes, there's a significant number of the best that have only been in the game four to six years. Five different receivers had nine years of experience and yet the drop off happens fast after that. If Bruce and Jimmy Smith extend their streak in the top 24, they'll be skewing numbers higher than anyone from last year. The prime years suggested by last season would be between four and nine years of playing.

# Top Rookies Team Ht Wt Age
1.03 Edwards, Braylon CLE 6'3" 211 22
1.07 Williamson, Troy MIN 6'1" 203 22
1.10 Williams, Mike DET 6'5" 229 21
1.21 Jones, Matt JAC 6'6" 237 22
1.22 Clayton, Mark BAL 5'10" 193 23
1.27 White, Roddy ATL 6'1" 207 24
2.03 Brown, Reggie PHI 6'2" 196 24
2.07 Bradley, Mark CHI 6'1" 201 23
2.23 Parrish, Roscoe BUF 5'10" 170 23
2.26 Murphy, Terrence GB 6'1" 202 23
2.29 Jackson, Vincent SD 6'5" 241 22
3.04 Roby, Courtney TEN 6'0" 189 22
3.19 Henry, Chris CIN 6'4" 197 22
3.32 Jones, Brandon TEN 6'1" 210 23
4.13 Mathis, Jerome HOU 5'11" 181 22
4.15 Thorpe, Craphonso KC 6'1" 188 22
4.17 Lyman, Chase NO 6'3" 217 23
4.30 Gibson, Fred PIT 6'4" 196 24
4.35 Williams, Roydell TEN 6'0" 192 24

Rookies - While there were many top wideouts last year who were only six feet tall, only one of the first eight drafted were that short and Mark Clayton fell to the second round largely because of concerns about his size (and speed as well). The Lions are planning on using Mike Williams in the slot this season (or until Charles Rogers is hurt again), but at 6'5", he'll easily be the tallest slot guy in the world. Williamson went second to the Vikings and since he was "only" 6'1", he was considered to be slightly undersized. The reality is that he's almost the exact same size as Joe Horn and as much as speedster as Harrison.

Because of the desire for taller players early in the draft, the average weight was higher than was seen in the top 24 from last year. Notice how those lower drafted wideouts were much lighter than the early picks. In evaluating talent, scouts love to see big players and yet many of the better recievers in the game today were not drafted in the first round and are not the "right size". It's mostly about ability and speed, not merely how uncomfortable a rookie wideout will be sitting on the team plane.

Last year saw an usually high number of rookies contribute thanks to a rich draft class. Michael Clayton (12th), Nate Burleson (16th) and Andre Johnson (22nd) all ranked among the best fantasy starters in 2004. In most years, there will be about two wideouts that do well in their first year and move on to become top receivers. There were seven first rounders and three second rounders in 2004 for a total of ten taken in the first two rounds. 2005 witnessed six in the first round and six in the second round for a total of twelve.

Team Wide Receiver Ht Wt Age Exp Team Wide Receiver Ht Wt Age Exp
ARI Boldin, Anquan 6'1'' 215 25 2 MIA Booker, Marty 6'0" 212 29 6
ARI Fitzgerald, Larry 6'4" 229 22 2 MIA Boston, David 6'2'' 240 27 6
ARI Johnson, Bryant 6'2'' 214 24 2 MIA Chambers, Chris 5'11'' 212 27 4
ATL Jenkins, Michael 6'5" 220 23 2 MIA Thompson, Derrius 6'2" 216 27 6
ATL Price, Peerless 5'11'' 190 29 6 MIN Burleson, Nate 6'0'' 197 24 2
ATL White, Dez 6'1'' 215 26 5 MIN Campbell, Kelly 5'11'' 171 25 3
ATL White, Roddy 6'1" 207 22 R MIN Robinson, Marcus 6'3'' 215 30 7
BAL Clayton, Mark 5'10" 193 22 R MIN Taylor, Travis 6'1" 200 26 6
BAL Hymes, Randy 6'3'' 212 26 2 MIN Williamson, Troy 6'1" 203 22 R
BAL Mason, Derrick 5'10" 188 31 9 NE Branch, Deion 5'9'' 191 26 3
BAL Moore, Clarence 6'6" 211 23 2 NE Brown, Troy 5'10'' 190 34 12
BUF Evans, Lee 5'11" 196 24 2 NE Givens, David 6'0'' 215 25 3
BUF Moulds, Eric 6'2'' 204 32 9 NE Johnson, Bethel 5'11'' 201 26 2
BUF Reed, Josh 5'10'' 206 25 3 NE Terrell, David 6'3" 212 26 5
CAR Colbert, Keary 6'0" 200 23 2 NO Henderson, Devery 5'11" 200 23 2
CAR Proehl, Ricky 6'0'' 190 37 15 NO Horn, Joe 6'1'' 206 33 9
CAR Smith, Steve 5'9'' 179 26 4 NO Stallworth, Donte 6'0" 196 24 4
CHI Gage, Justin 6'4'' 216 24 2 NYG Burress, Plaxico 6'5" 225 27 6
CHI Muhammad, Muhsin 6'2" 217 32 10 NYG Toomer, Amani 6'3'' 202 31 9
CHI Wade, Bobby 5'10'' 190 24 2 NYJ Chrebet, Wayne 5'10'' 188 32 10
CIN Henry, Chris 6'4" 197 22 R NYJ Coles, Laveranues 5'11" 193 27 6
CIN Houshmandzadeh, T.J. 6'1" 197 28 5 NYJ McCareins, J. 6'2" 215 26 5
CIN Johnson, Chad 6'2'' 192 27 4 OAK Curry, Ronald 6'2'' 220 26 2
CIN Warrick, Peter 5'11'' 195 28 5 OAK Gabriel, Doug 6'2'' 210 25 2
CIN Washington, Kelly 6'3" 220 26 3 OAK Moss, Randy 6'4" 205 28 8
CLE Bryant, Antonio 6'1" 188 26 4 OAK Porter, Jerry 6'2'' 220 27 5
CLE Davis, Andre 6'1' 193 26 4 PHI Brown, Reggie 6'1" 197 22 R
CLE Edwards, Braylon 6'3" 211 22 R PHI Lewis, Greg 6'0'' 178 25 2
CLE Northcutt, Dennis 5'11'' 175 28 5 PHI McMullen, Billy 6'4'' 210 25 2
DAL Glenn, Terry 5'11'' 195 31 9 PHI Owens, Terrell 6'3'' 226 32 9
DAL Johnson, Keyshawn 6'4'' 212 33 9 PHI Pinkston, Todd 6'2'' 170 28 5
DAL Morgan, Quincy 6'1" 209 28 5 PIT Randle El, Antwaan 5'10'' 184 26 3
DEN Lelie, Ashley 6'3'' 200 25 3 PIT Ward, Hines 6'0'' 200 29 7
DEN RIce, Jerry 6'2" 196 43 20 PIT Wilson, Cedrick 5'10' 183 27 5
DEN Smith, Rod 6'0'' 200 35 10 SD Caldwell, Reche 5'11'' 194 26 3
DEN Watts, Darius 6'2" 240 24 2 SD Jackson, Vincent 6'5" 241 22 R
DET Johnson, Kevin 5'11" 195 28 8 SD McCardell, Keenan 6'1" 191 35 14
DET Rogers, Charles 6'2'' 202 24 2 SD Osgood, Kassim 6'5'' 209 25 2
DET Williams, Mike 6'4" 229 21 R SD Parker, Eric 6'0'' 177 26 3
DET Williams, Roy 6'2" 212 23 2 SEA Engram, Bobby 5'10'' 185 32 9
GB Chatman, Antonio 5'8'' 186 26 2 SEA Jackson, Darrell 6'0'' 201 27 5
GB Driver, Donald 6'0'' 185 30 6 SEA Jurevicius, Joe 6'5" 230 30 8
GB Ferguson, Robert 6'1'' 209 26 3 SEA Pathon, Jerome 6'0" 195 29 8
GB Murphy, Terrence 6'1" 196 22 R SF Battle, Arnaz 6'0'' 212 25 2
GB Walker, Javon 6'3'' 210 27 3 SF Lloyd, Brandon 6'0'' 188 24 2
HOU Armstrong, Derick 6'2'' 196 26 2 SF Woods, Rashaun 6'2' 205 24 2
HOU Bradford, Corey 6'1'' 197 30 6 STL Bruce, Isaac 6'0'' 188 33 11
HOU Gaffney, Jabar 6'1'' 195 25 3 STL Curtis, Kevin 5'11'' 190 27 2
HOU Johnson, Andre 6'2'' 221 24 2 STL Holt, Torry 6'0'' 190 29 6
HOU Mathis, Jerome 5'11" 191 22 R STL Looker, Dane 6'0'' 190 29 3
IND Harrison, Marvin 6'0'' 178 33 9 STL MacDonald, Shaun 5'10' 183 24 3
IND Stokley, Brandon 5'11'' 197 29 6 TB Clayton, Michael 6'3" 197 23 2
IND Wayne, Reggie 6'0'' 198 27 4 TB Galloway, Joey 5'11'' 197 34 9
JAX Edwards, Troy 5'10'' 196 28 6 TB Hilliard, Ike 5'11" 210 29 9
JAX Jones, Matt 6'6" 242 22 R TEN Bennett, Drew 6'5'' 203 27 4
JAX Smith, Jimmy 6'1'' 205 36 11 TEN Calico, Tyrone 6'4'' 222 25 2
JAX Williams, Reggie 6'4" 223 23 2 TEN Jones, Brandon 6'1" 212 22 R
KC Boerigter, Marc 6'3'' 220 27 3 TEN Roby, Courtney 6'0" 189 22 R
KC Horn, Chris 5'11'' 195 28 1 TEN Williams, Roydell 6'0" 187 22 R
KC Kennison, Eddie 5'11'' 192 32 9 WAS Gardner, Rod 6'2' 213 29 6
KC Parker, Samie 5'11" 190 24 2 WAS Moss, Santana 5'10" 185 26 4
KC Thorpe, Craphonso 6'0" 187 22 R WAS Patten, David 5'10" 190 31 9